British Triathlon has announced the athletes and guides who have been named on the National Lottery Funded UK Sport World Class Programme for the year ahead.
Off the back of the World Triathlon Para Championships in Abu Dhabi, PTVI World Champion Dave Ellis (PTVI) and his guide Luke Pollard are once again named on the Paralympic Programme, alongside world silver medallist Claire Cashmore (PTS5) and world bronze medallist Alison Peasgood (PTVI).
There are also a number of athletes who have been announced for the first time as part of the programme, including Commonwealth Games athlete Oscar Kelly (PTVI) and his guide Charlie Harding, as well as silver medallist from 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Montreal, Finley Jakes (PTS4), who have all been named on the Paralympic programme.
Speaking about being named on the programme for the first time, Jakes said: “I’ve been able to have my most consistent year with training and balancing my studies which I’ve now been able to show when racing. It’s been my most competitive year internationally and I’m grateful to see my hard work paying off by being able to compete for medals.
“Being on programme seems very surreal to me as I feel it’s been something I’ve aimed for most of life from competing in athletics to now triathlon. I feel very proud to be able be a part of this team and train alongside the best in the world
“Funding will enable me to have more of my time focused on training and provide me access to elite support staff to help me on my journey. I’m looking forward to being pushed beyond my limits and learn what I will be capable of achieving.”
New for the 2023 Olympic programme are Jack Willis, Barclay Izzard and Dan Dixon, who will all join the programme following recent performances and results. Like Kelly, Dixon represented Team England this summer in Birmingham, whilst Willis competed at the European Championships in Munich.
Reflecting on his selection, Willis said: “Being part of the programme is an exciting step for me. Following the same pathway as some of the very best in the sport is something I feel privileged to be able to do.
“The programme and funding will allow me to continue my career in a more professional manner, with the funding ensuring I can live as a full time athlete, optimising training and recovery as much as possible.
“2022 was a rewarding year for me. I was pleased to step up a level to get some competitive results at World Cups and getting my World Triathlon Championship debut at the Finals in Abu Dhabi was a special end to the year.”
Tokyo 2020 gold medallist, Lauren Steadman (PTS5), retains her place as part of the programme as she gets back to training and racing following a break in 2022, with fellow Tokyo Paralympian, Michael Taylor (PTS4), also named.
Also announced on the Olympic Programme are Sophie Coldwell and Beth Potter, who finished sixth and seventh respectively in the final 2022 Maurice Lacroix World Triathlon Championship rankings, as well as three-time Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee.
Mike Cavendish, British Triathlon Performance Director, said: “For athletes being named on the programme, it means that they have met certain standards to receive support through British Triathlon for their training and racing.
“A number of the athletes are well-known to the programme and it’s great to be able to retain them, whilst for the new faces this year, it’s a really exciting step for their development and a sign of where they’re at and the potential we see in them.
“The programme showcases the top level of the triathlon and paratriathlon pathways, with athletes not selected this year also receiving high quality support to aide in their further development. A number of these athletes may be disappointed to have not been selected, however we look forward to continuing their journey within the British Triathlon pathway.
“The support the pathway receives from the National Lottery has been central to the sustained growth and success of our Olympic and Paralympic programmes and will be as we continue the journey of this Paris Games cycle.”
You can find out more about National Lottery Funded UK Sport World Class Programme athletes by viewing their profiles on the British Triathlon website here.
Programmes in full:
Lauren Steadman – from Peterborough, trains London
Dave Ellis - from Derby, trains Loughborough
Luke Pollard (Guide) – from Telford, trains Loughborough
George Peasgood – from Safron Walden, trains Loughborough
Claire Cashmore – from Kidderminster, trains Loughborough
Alison Peasgood – from Dunfermline, trains Loughborough
Michael Taylor – from Barnstaple, trains Bristol/Bath
Oscar Kelly – from Redbridge, trains Loughborough
Charlie Harding (Guide) – from Penrith, trains Nottingham
Finley Jakes – from Eastbourne, trains Loughborough
Melissa Nicholls – from Tewkesbury, trains various
Colin Wallace – from Aberdeen, trains Aberdeen
Michael Salisbury – from Newcastle, trains Newcastle
Megan Richter – from Birmingham, trains Birmingham
*female guides will be selected and confirmed at a later date
Jonathan Brownlee – from Leeds, trains Leeds
Sophie Coldwell – from Nottingham, trains Loughborough
Vicky Holland – from Gloucester, trains Leeds
Jess Learmonth – from Leeds, trains Leeds
Georgia Taylor-Brown – from Manchester, trains Leeds
Alex Yee – from London, trains Loughborough
Sam Dickinson – from Leeds, trains Leeds
Ben Dijkstra – from Loughborough, trains Loughborough
Olivia Mathias – from Newark, trains Loughborough
Beth Potter – from Glasgow, trains Leeds
Sian Rainsley – from Coventry, trains Leeds
Kate Waugh – from Gateshead, trains Leeds
Connor Bentley – from Crewe, trains Loughborough
Sophie Alden – from Norwich, trains Loughborough
Dan Dixon – from Morpeth, Leeds/USA
Jack Willis – from Middlesbrough, trains Leeds
Barclay Izzard – from Derby, trains Nottingham